Real Medicine Foundation - Initiative "Flood Victims Healthcare Outreach Program"
RMF collaborated with Relief Foundation, a local, private, non-profit NGO that works for poverty reduction, improving quality of life of the ultra-poor and provides free medical relief to the vulnerable in far flung areas of Pakistan, to set up four free one-day medical camps for victims of the 2008 flood.
With a volunteer team of 15 male and female doctors and 9 paramedics and a coordinating team of RMF health staff, over 2,800 flood victims were treated during the first 2-day camp of Feb 15-16, 2009. The group of doctors included orthopedic surgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists and pediatricians. The process conduct of patient flow followed a simple systematic route. All patients were screened by general physicians in the filter clinic following registration. Subject cases were referred to the relevant specialist. Complicated cases were referred to tertiary level hospitals in Peshawar and Mardan. The patients took prescriptions to the pharmacy where free medicine was distributed. Most of our volunteers are physicians on the faculty of tertiary level teaching hospitals in Peshawar, thereby in a position to facilitate the referral cases on their home grounds.
Two weeks later, another 2-day follow up medical camp was set up in the same place on March 7-8, 2009. This proved to be an even greater success where 3,178 patients were treated. The total number of prescriptions dispensed was 3,034. The most common diseases presented in all four camps were gastroenteritis/diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, and dyspepsia with malnutrition and worm infections mostly in children. However the most common complaints were general body weakness and depression, the former merely a symptom of the latter.
The medical camps proved to be very successful having had intensive pre-camp processes of announcing the upcoming events via media, pamphlets, radio and local cable providers, mobile car-loudspeaker announcements as well as mosque announcements prior to every prayer call. All volunteer doctors were awarded certificates of appreciation. The credit for the well management of the camps actually goes to Relief Foundation whose staff is well trained and has conducted about 30,000 camps since its inception in 1988.